Final report - Microbial pathways for the reduction of mercury in saturated subsurface sediments

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Mercury is a component of mixed wastes that have contaminated vast areas of the deep subsurface as a result of nuclear weapon and energy production. While this mercury is mostly bound to soil constituents episodes of groundwater contamination are known in some cases resulting in potable water super saturated with Hg(0). Microbial processes that reduce Hg(II) to the elemental form Hg(0) in the saturated subsurface sediments may contribute to this problem. When we started the project, only one microbial pathway for the reduction of Hg(II), the one mediated by the mer operon in mercury resistant bacteria was known. As we ... continued below

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barkay, Tamar; Young, Lily & Zylstra, Gerben August 25, 2009.

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Description

Mercury is a component of mixed wastes that have contaminated vast areas of the deep subsurface as a result of nuclear weapon and energy production. While this mercury is mostly bound to soil constituents episodes of groundwater contamination are known in some cases resulting in potable water super saturated with Hg(0). Microbial processes that reduce Hg(II) to the elemental form Hg(0) in the saturated subsurface sediments may contribute to this problem. When we started the project, only one microbial pathway for the reduction of Hg(II), the one mediated by the mer operon in mercury resistant bacteria was known. As we had previously demonstrated that the mer mediated process occurred in highly contaminated environments (Schaefer et al., 2004), and mercury concentrations in the subsurface were reported to be low (Krabbenhoft and Babiarz, 1992), we hypothesized that other microbial processes might be active in reducing Hg(II) to Hg(0) in saturated subsurface environments. The specific goals of our projects were: (1) Investigating the potential for Hg(II) reduction under varying electron accepting conditions in subsurface sediments and relating these potential to mer gene distribution; and (2) Examining the physiological and biochemical characteristics of the interactions of anaerobic bacteria with mercury. The results are briefly summarized with references to published papers and manuscripts in preparation where details about our research can be found. Additional information may be found in copies of our published manuscripts and conference proceedings, and our yearly reports that were submitted through the RIMS system.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/63969-1
  • Grant Number: FG02-05ER63969
  • DOI: 10.2172/963080 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 963080
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928394

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • August 25, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 3:50 p.m.

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barkay, Tamar; Young, Lily & Zylstra, Gerben. Final report - Microbial pathways for the reduction of mercury in saturated subsurface sediments, report, August 25, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928394/: accessed July 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.